gay men holding handsA group, which says it represent people in Dominica who are denied their rights because of their sexual orientation, is calling on the Catholic Church on the island to make its position clear concerning anti-buggery laws.

MiriDom says these laws fuel homophobia in countries where they are on the books.

“MiriDom believes that homophobia in Dominica and the rest of the Anglophone Caribbean is fueled by the existence of laws that make gay sex between consenting adults a criminal act,” the group said in a release.

According to MiriDom, the Holy See in 2008 urged a repeal of anti-buggery laws throughout the world and the position has been ignored by the church in Dominica.

“In a statement to the 63rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the declaration of human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, the Holy See advocated, ‘that every sign of unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons should be avoided and urges states to do away with criminal penalties against them.’ It described such penalties as “grave violations of human rights,'” the group said.

It believes that the church in Dominica is not reflecting the Vatican’s position on the matter. “MiriDom does not believe that the Catholic church in Dominica has been reflecting the Vatican’s position in its teaching and by doing so, is endorsing homophobia and the continued existence of Dominica’s buggery laws (section 16 of the sexual offences act) on the statute books,” the group said.

Dominica News Online contacted the head of the Catholic Church in Dominica, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, who said he will be giving a comprehensive response on the matter soon.